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The CD turns 25 and I'm getting old

Set the Wayback Machine

By Paul McNamara on Thu, 08/16/07 - 2:30pm.

Gather 'round kids cuz Grandpa Buzzblog is gonna tell a story.

Remember how your jaws all dropped the first time you saw HD-TV and realized how much better it was than crappy ol' regular TV?

(24 other geeky happenings from 1982)

Well, your Gramps and his homies had a similar epiphany 25 years ago when the compact disc first emerged as an alternative to records.

What's a record? … Another story for another day, kids, lemme go on here while I still have the wind.

You see it was 25 years ago tomorrow to the day, Aug. 17, 1982, when Philips made the first CD in Germany. I'm gonna read to you from a press release now:

Exactly 25 years ago tomorrow, on August 17, 1982, Royal Philips Electronics manufactured the world's first compact disc at a Philips factory in Langenhagen, just outside of Hanover, Germany. The invention of the CD ushered in a technological revolution in the music industry as CDs — with their superior sound quality and scratch free durability — marked the beginning of the shift from analog to digital music technology. The CD became a catalyst for further innovation in digital entertainment, helping pave the way for the launch of DVD and the current introduction of Blu-ray optical media.

Since that day Philips estimates that more than 200 billion -- that's billion with a "B" -- have been sold worldwide, although I know that none of you young whippersnappers have bought any lately what with those iPod buds stuck in your ears all the time.

Anyway, I'm not going to drone on here much longer cuz I see you're getting fidgety, but I want you to believe your Grandpa Buzzblog when he tells you he can remember hearing a CD for the first time as clearly as the first time he kissed your Grandma Buzzblog -- not as fondly, mind you.

And lastly -- hey, hey, hey, wait just another second, those video games aren't going anywhere … And lastly, I want you to know exactly how close the manufacturing of that very first CD came to killing -- and I mean killing deader than Elvis -- the entire music industry.

How so, you say?

The artist on that first disc: ABBA.

Kids, be glad you're too young.

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